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Moroccan beef casserole

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1 kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
2 tbsp Moroccan spice mix
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into large dice
3 cups beef stock
400 g can diced tomatoes
0.25 cup tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
2 medium zucchini, chopped
400 g can chickpeas, drained
0.25 cup chopped coriander
couscous to serve


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5-3cm cubes, place in a large bowl. Add about 2 tbsp of oil and the Moroccan spice mix, mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches. Remove each batch and place in a casserole dish.
2 Reduce heat in the pan and add a little extra oil, add the garlic, onion and carrot, cook for 1-2 minutes, stir occasionally.
3 Gradually pour in the stock and the tomatoes, stirring well. Add the tomato paste and sugar. Stir until the mixture boils. Pour over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine.
4 Cover the casserole dish, place in oven, and cook until the beef is very tender. Stir every 40 minutes or so, add water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the zucchini and the chickpeas. Cook until the zucchini is tender, and then stir in the coriander. Serve with couscous.


1 Best beef cuts for or casseroling or braising: chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef cuts take 2-2½ hours to cook. Topside, round and blade take 1-1½ hours to cook.
2 Don't rush the initial stage of browning the meat. This will help make the dish rich in colour and flavour.
3 Simmer the casserole gently and taste it to see if it's ready. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat as it cooks if needed. When it's done the meat should be tender enough to fall apart easily with a fork.
4 To cook in a Slow Cooker: Brown the beef well as per the recipe and place in the slow cooker. Place the Moroccan spice mix, garlic, onion and carrots in to the slow cooker with the beef. Combine the beef stock, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar, add to the beef. You may need to add a little beef stock or water if it appears that the liquid does not cover the beef. Cover the slow cooker with its lid, cook on Low Setting for 8-10 hours or the High Setting for 4-5 hours. Add the zucchini and chick peas in the last 45 minutes cooking time. Stir in the coriander to serve.